$10.00

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User Rating Comment Status
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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10
Apr 2008*
9/3/09: I'm so excited this game is finally coming out! We get the pre-production proofs this weekend!

I think alexfrog has done a great job balancing all the various buildings in the game, and there's really a lot of emergent strategy that comes out of every play. As an example, the last game I played had a 1 point margin between the top 2 players: 1 player was broke the whole game, took a lot of debt and sold some goods to pay for auctions, was using Gold to pay for 5 workers (which is a lousy use for Gold, and a lot of workers), and yet refused to pass and build up some cash. He scored the majority of his points from selling cubes and a particular building that has 2 worker slots yielding 2 points each. The other passed almost 1/2 of the rounds, was very careful about which buildings he bought so that they were all complimentary and scored large bonuses off of them. These 2 players were 1 point apart, with the broke guy winning. If there were 2 more diametrically opposed strategies in a game, then I'm sure I've never seen them, and these two both worked well.
2009-09-03
Owned
Gerald Cameron
Canada
Unspecified
Nova Scotia
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10
Jul 2012
The more I think about this game, the more impressed I am by it, and playing it spurred plenty of thought.

Homesteaders is probably the first legitimate heir to the legacy of classic euro "systems" games like Puerto Rico and Princes of Florence since (choose your favourite) Goa, Caylus or In the Shadow of the Emperor. On the other hand, it is also a streamlining of a lot of the design seen in games like Agricola and Le Havre and, thanks to the streamlining, works far better for me than those games do (although I do not hate them, either).

Complaints that Homesteaders doesn't do anything new, though, look at the mechanics and not the experience. Setting aside the fact that it is the first strategic resource shuffling game to play reliably (regardless of player count) in under 2 hours, the Trade token constraint on that resource shuffling is, I think, original, interesting and more effective than similar systems in worker placement games. It's probably no coincidence that this is the first important resource shuffler (that I know of) that isn't a worker placement game, too.

This is one of the all-too-rare genuinely planning-focused euros, and I love almost all of them. The buildings do a great job of differentiating player positions and setting up strategic paths.

I think the idea of auctioning off building lots instead of specific buildings is what makes this game work, though. It maintains competition while leaving players with the latitude to follow a plan instead of tactically adapting to the buildings on the market. Not a solution I would have thought of, either.

The simple graphic design works for me, since it is readable (once you know the iconography) from across the table, but other production issues bother me more. I got one of the damp sets, and that made punching the myriad bits frustrating, with several small pieces (mostly the star-shaped VP chits) delaminating some. The misaligned print is bad enough that the games should probably have been returned to the printer, although it's not quite a show stopper for me.
2010-06-16
Owned
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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10
Jan 2011
I really enjoy Homesteaders a lot. The auction mechanic is straight forward and doesn't take away from the main meat of the game. This really isn't worker placement game since the only place you can put workers is on your own stuff, no one else can get in the way. Rather i look at as a city building, economic engine game with an auction driving your purchases.

Official 2p variant works great.
2011-10-11
Owned
Michael Sillion
Sweden
Varberg
Unspecified
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10
Mar 2010
An amazingly well designed game and equally fun and interesting to play.

My new favorite Game. Thanks Alexfrog!
2010-06-03
Owned
Want To Play
Matt Musselman
Canada
Burnaby
BC
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10
Feb 2010
Like a faster-playing, Western-themed version of Le Havre, where the Amon Re style auction adds a lot of tension. Great game.
2010-02-09
Owned
Tiffany Smith
United States
Portland
Oregon
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10
Apr 2010
Homesteaders is a delightfully fun auction game with tons of choices. The trade chit mechanic, and indeed the whole buying and selling of goods, is truly inspired and one of the most delightful parts of the game. I really enjoy finding out how much I can get from my simple resources.

The auction mechanic is much more successful than in other games with a similar mechanic (Amun-Re and Vegas Showdown are the first two that come to mind) because you are buying an opportunity. In most games with an auction, you are buying something concrete: a particular room for your casino, a particular land plot with particular worth, a particular card or jester or effect. In Homesteaders, you are buying the opportunity to buy a whole variety of buildings. No matter where you end up, there is almost always something worthwhile to purchase with your auctioned opportunity. Additionally, even if someone shuts you out of a particular building, there are plenty of options for pursuing your same strategy. Resources are scarce, but not so scarce that you feel the oppression of constantly digging yourself out of a hole.

In short, there are plenty of options in Homesteaders, and the auction forces players to play a different game every time while still offering the flexibility to play the game the way that you'd like.
2010-05-29
Owned
Yehuda Berlinger
Israel
Jerusalem
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10
May 2011
A fantastic game, with probably the richest game space I've ever seen, barring Puerto Rico and perhaps Agricola and its ilk.

My newest 10.
2011-05-20
Owned
Todd
United States
Warren
Michigan
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10
Aug 2013
I really love this game, great replayability.
2013-08-02
Owned
László K.
United States
Hopatcong
New Jersey
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10
Jun 2014
[2014.Jun.14] After 6 plays, I have yet to experience a bad game. Is it a light outing? No, certainly not. I am always ready to play it and I always have fun doing so. I guess that makes it a...

2014-06-13
Owned
Want To Play
Jim Seago
United States
Independence
Missouri
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10
Sep 2012
Le Havre lite...I'd probably say Le Havre is my favorite game out there so this one went over real well. I'm curious to see how I'll feel about it after 10+ plays but my guess is that this game will crack my top ten...perhaps top five.

Edit

After ten plays I'm still really enjoying it. Not as many options as say Le Havre but there's quite a few. The auction mechanic and how it plays out is what will keep this game fresh for me. I'm always willing to play this game.
2012-10-05
Owned
Kwanchai Moriya
United States
Monrovia
California
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10
Sep 2013
My favorite auction euro. Dense but thematically rewarding.
2013-08-31
Owned
Kevin Garnica
United States
Buena Park
California
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10
Jul 2012
Love this game. I like the engine-building - through the buildings. And the auctions are good fun; I especially like the fact that there is a "consolation prize" track for the player who drops out of the auctions altogether.

There are lots of resources to work with, and that makes the game a nice mental challenge for me.
2012-07-03
Owned
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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10
Jul 2013
Fun. Frustrating. Addictive.

3.1 game weight
2014-08-25
Owned
John Meindersee II
United States
California
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10
Oct 2012
Pretty much my favorite game in the collection. The only drawback is sometimes the bidding phase can cause AP (analysis paralysis). Great game. Fun theme. I love it!
2012-10-02
Owned
Dean Ray Johnson

Houston
Texas
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10
Jun 2015
Simple parts that combine into an interesting whole. One of the best middleweight games I've ever played.
2014-12-26
Owned
Osamu Hirai
Japan
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10
May 2013
2-4(2-4)
B4
90m
2013-05-25
Owned
Brent Wenerstrom
United States
Riverton
Utah
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10
Sep 2014
Building powers in a very tight economic race. The auction makes this one confrontational as one person will always get locked out of building. Plays fairly fast for as much as is involved in this great economic game.
2015-05-18
Owned
Louis Sylvester
United States
Lewiston
Idaho
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9.7
Oct 2013
I was so surprised by how good this game is. The first game we played started off a bit slow as I had to refer back to the rules a couple of times, but after a few turns the game flowed well. The second game was even better. I've not yet won, and probably never will as my gaming group seems to be better at this game than me, but I still love playing this. My biggest, most pleasant surprise of 2010 so far.

There is a snowball effect (meaning if you play poorly at first, you'll have a hard time catching up later), but as I've already said, the process of playing this game is so much fun that winning does not matter nearly as much as you'd think. Any game that can keep me smiling while I'm losing deserves high praise.
2010-04-05
Owned
Rob White
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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9.7
Mar 2013
June '10: Played at Tom's and bought it a week later. Really enjoying it. Simple to grasp. Fairly quick playing time. Cool auction style. And terrific with the designer's separate 2-player rules. Loving it.

Feb. '11: Haven't been playing this at all. Sad, but just too many other new games (7 Wonders, Civ., Prosperity, etc.). Hope to play this again soon.....

March '11: Played 2-player game with Tom at PrezCon. Still a terrific game. Want to play it more often.

Oct. '12: Why don't I play this more. Definitely a Top 10 game for me, but I only play it a couple times a year. I guess there are just too many other games. I've played something crazy like 135 different games this year, but how many have I enjoyed as much as Homesteaders? Need to play more!!

Feb. '13: Picked up a copy of the 2nd edition. My 1st edition is up for trade now.

**#7 in my first ever Top 200 (March 2013)**
2013-03-15
Prev. Owned
Tony Brum
United States
Ewa Beach
Hawaii
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9.7
Jun 2014
Homesteaders is simple to learn and gives players a number of reasonably difficult choices each turn. A very good game with many paths to victory. There seems to be plenty of avenues to victory, which of course is a must in these types of games. I really enjoy games with buildings/tiles that players purchase and use to give them a variety of goods, actions and/or income. All in all the game is enjoyable and time seems to fly by as your brain remains reasonably active throughout.
2014-06-08
Owned
Richard Hoover
United States
Indiana
Pennsylvania
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9.6
Aug 2010
This game was surprisingly good. Close to perfect game for me and would be my pick for example of the type of game I like best.

Only reason I don't give 10 is I presume no game is perfect or could not be made better, such as this one could be made even better with a couple more types of buildings to choose each phase (settlement, town, city).

I find this 90% scratches my itch for Le Havre (which this game has parts of) and even for Through the Ages (not sure why, as no where similar). Both take 2 hours plus with 2 people versus being able to play this in 2 (with learning rules) with 4 and I imagine with more play, under 1.5 hrs.


2010-08-14
Owned
Guy Riessen
United States
Sebastopol
California
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9.5
Feb 2010
Wow this is looking to be a great game! Many shades of variations of paths to victory with lots of options each turn. The time to play is much longer than expected, at least for the first couple games, as you learn what all the buildings do, and how they might produce VPs for you. Our first game was very tight, and everyone had a slightly different strategy. Was fun and interesting to see prices for properties skyrocket from one turn to the next--for the exact same properties...if only I knew then what I know now, syndrome...suddenly everyone needed to get a couple specific buildings to optimize their paths.

Component quality is more than adequate, but if you expect everything to look like Fantasy Flight games, it's not near that. for us, the games are far more important than how they look, and we happily play Winsome games, 18xx kits, whatever...as long as the game is there the look is immaterial. As far as the backs of the auction tiles being "marked," that's patently ridiculous. The first thing anyone I want to play games with must know is: Don't cheat PERIOD. So you shuffle while looking away, big deal. It's only few tile. Once they're stacked, there are NO backs which are visible. The top tile is flipped to be face up each turn, covering the rest of the tiles...you cannot see the backs. Now sure, you could try and look when the tile is flipped...but DON'T. More than likely any foreknowledge is not going to help you anyway. You could, potentially hold more of your money for the next round, but that still might not help you win that auction, and certainly won't necessarily win you the game. But still, don't cheat.

I swear this kind of complaint irks me. What do these people who complain do, play cards with people who try and look at your hand? Why are they even playing with these people? Do they try and peek behind player screens? Do they get up "to go to the bathroom" so they can look at what the other players have as they return to the table? really?
2012-02-02
Owned
Jake Waltier
United States
Seattle
Washington
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9.5
Sep 2013
Just the right amount of auction and resource management. Beautiful components. Great for 2, 3, or 4 players. Plays very fast for something so deep and thoughtful.
2012-06-13
Owned
Marco Wong
Hong Kong
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9.5
Nov 2010
What a marvelous game! This is my most played game over the past 10 years and still not getting tired of it or feel a bit repeatitive.
2010-11-27
Owned
Kevin Pollock
United States
Vista
California
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9.5
Nov 2011
Terrific game with quick play time.
2012-07-31
Owned
Ian Klinck
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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9.5
Nov 2013
LP: 3-Nov-13
[T]
2013-11-03
Owned
Want To Play
john malafronte
Czech Republic
Prague 2
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9.5
Jan 2013
In USA
2015-01-29
Owned
Sarinee Achavanuntakul
Thailand
Bangkok
Select a State
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9.5
Feb 2012
One of my most favorite auction + management games. The auction mechanism guarantees a tense competitive game, but the variety of building and flexible "marketplace" guarantee it's never too late to change strategy if you don't win that one building you want.
2012-02-25
Owned
Patrick Draad
Netherlands
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9.5
Apr 2013
This is a very good auction game! I translated it in Dutch!
2013-03-14
Owned
Tirelli
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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9.3
Jul 2010
Best new game I learned in 2010. The cardboard components are really low quality, but the wooden components are nice. The game is awesome, with multiple different victory strategies. It plays relatively fast and has a good re-playability.
2010-06-30
Owned
John Lyons Beck
United States
Olympia
Washington
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9.3
Feb 2011
Perfect game for newbies & vets, plays quickly, deep strategy. Love it!
2010-12-25
Owned
rizkar
United States
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9.25
Aug 2013
A very good worker placement game with auctions, buildings, processing, chaining, currency management, loans, etc. It all fits together tightly and it seems there are many ways to win, but it feels like nothing new -- it's all been done before. Despite this, I think it's a keeper and the second straight solid design from TMG.
2013-07-28
Owned
Ben Penner
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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9
Apr 2008*
A very good Action/Bidding game where the mechanic is handled brilliantly. It plays very well with either 3 or 4, and is a little more challenging with 3. I can not wait to see this game published.

* * *

Being published this year by Tasty Minstrel Games
2009-07-28
Owned
Javier Quintas
Spain
DAGANZO DE ARRIBA
MADRID
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9
Aug 2010
Quick gameplay (1 hour long tops) with interesting choices. After just 1 play it is a 9, but could fall to an 8 because it can be a bit repetitive after several plays due to the amount of buildings. Components are normal. Both suitable for casual and non-casual gamers. Need to try with the new rules for 2. I see an expansion in the horizon with more buildings and the possibility to include a 5th player.
2010-08-04
Chris Comeaux
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
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War Eagle!
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Image is from Turandot. It looks just like me.
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9
Jan 2010
Component issues aside, this is a great game I can see playing for a long time. Nothing startlingly new, but everything fits together very well. N-1 auctions where the odd-man out gets something progressively better. A few dozen buildings combine in lots of ways. There seem to be lots of good paths through the buildings, but probably only a few great ones. Since you can take an infinite amount of debt, evaluating correctly at auction is critical.
2010-03-03
Prev. Owned
Dave Kudzma
United States
Millsboro
Delaware
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Trumpy, you can do stupid things!
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9
Nov 2009*
Simple Amun Re building with decentralized Caylus style actions, yet with Puerto Rico production and bonuses; all in 10 short rounds.

One word: INTENSE.

Component quality was sub par, but the price point and game play made up for it in spades.
2009-11-28
Owned
Jonathan Tanner
United States
Bothell
Washington
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9
Sep 2009*
Played during beta a number of times, looking forward to trying final version.
2009-09-28
Preordered
Based upon my poor understanding of history, science, and ethics...
United States
North Pole
Alaska
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9
Jul 2010
Edit: Not fiddly. I was just playing with the wrong group. After playing with different people I find that I had to kick this game up a notch. Interesting decisions to be made.

Old comments: Quite fiddly. So fiddly that we came up with a new term for an as-of-yet unrecognized path to victory. That is the "shady accounting" path to victory.

Although I like the game, I can't see myself playing with players who take their turn so fast that you can't observe their actions, do take backs and do the math in their head when making a bunch of trades.

Although the various wooden pieces that come with the game are cool, I wonder if the game would work as well or better with fewer types of resources.

Other than that I am intrigued with the game and want to play more. There are depths yet to plumb in this game.
2010-07-10
Owned
Emanon
United States
Lancaster
Pennsylvania
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9
Feb 2010
Rating 9 after first play (two player variant)
This lived up to my expectations and I can't wait to play some more including 3 and 4 player. The 2 player variant played pretty well though.
2010-02-14
Owned
Andrew
United States
San Francisco
California
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9
Jul 2010
It's my kind of resource-management economic game: short and clean, with lots of variety and engine-building. The extreme flexibility with trade and debt is an innovative bonus.

Some annoyances:
* Tokens and tiles aren't all cut cleanly and are liable to tear if not punched out very carefully.
* Some tokens are printed out of alignment with the cutting.
* The manual obscures use of the Market, the hidden information and the rule against building duplication.
* The back of one of the basic buildings is wrong.
* One of the cowboy meeples is a cripple.
* The box insert is tearing.
* There's a 2nd edition that cleans up some stuff and includes 2-player rules, and I don't have it!
2010-07-29
Owned
Prev. Owned
Jens Hoppe
Denmark
Frederiksberg
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It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
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9
Mar 2012
Homesteaders is an "economic engine" type of game (featuring many different types of resources, Le Havre-style), and with Amun-Re style auctions thrown in.

Components are ... disappointing (and that's being generous). Artwork is drab and uninspired, and my copy had its share of production issues - insufficiently die-cut counters and badly aligned printing on tiles and counters on some of the sprues. At least the 'coweeples' are nice.

With the component trainwreck out of the way, the game plays well. Very well. Starting out, gameplay is confusing as hell, but eventually things start to click. Auctions are agonizing - in a good way! - and the economic development puzzle is fun, although of course at the same time incredibly fiddly!

After half a dozen games, I am ready to declare Homesteaders an amazing game. Easily one of the best new games I have tried in the last year.
2010-06-02
Owned
United States
Saint Paul
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9
Dec 2009*
More elegant and refined than I expected. Utilizes a small amount of restriction of action in building permit availability and trade chits, but all other things are unlimited so long as you don't mind paying a huge price.
2009-12-01
Owned
Keith Leonard
United States
Massillon
Ohio
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9
Apr 2012
One of my favorite games!
2012-01-25
Owned
Tim Comfort
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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9
Jan 2011
This has been a pleasant surprise so far. I really enjoy the liquidity of all of the goods, since anything can be cashed in and turned into just about anything else, so long as you have the trade tokens to do so. This removes the frustration of absolutely needing one particular thing and being unable to get it. It's still more efficient to get precisely the goods you need to begin with of course! The auction system is tight and can reward the one player who doesn't win an auction by driving the prices up for the others. I also like how debt works (you can take debt at any time). That means you can always have enough silver on hand to buy anything. Whether it's worth it is another problem altogether!
2010-03-31
Owned
Adam O'Brien
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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The Hellfish Bonanza!!!
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9
Jul 2010
One of my favorite games right now. Everyone who I've taught it to has liked it as well. It is very simple, and can play very fast. The only shortfall is the risk of AP while selecting buildings. A very fun game, I can't imagine turning a game of this one down.
2010-02-02
Owned
Chris Linneman
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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9
Feb 2010
In a word, awesome. Perfect length (75-90 mins), short but tense turns (due to the auctions), multiple strategy paths. It is auction/resource management distilled to its essence. I have even enjoyed playing it solo (using the desiginer puzzles posted on BGG) more than any other solo game.

After playing it dozens of times solo, I am a little concerned about limited viable strategy paths but in actual fact I think that is only a problem with the solo game. The auctions should change which paths are better from game to game.
2010-02-23
Owned
Felix Rodriguez
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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9
May 2010
This game feels like Phoenicia (Outpost/Zavandor simplified) with the bidding mechanic of Amun Re/Vegas Showdown/Evo. I love that bidding mechanic. Great combination, and a great game!
2010-03-12
Owned
Tommy Ryytty
Finland
Vantaa
Unspecified
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9
May 2010
Advanced Vegas Showdown or Phoenicia. If you like these, you like this one. Production quality is not very good.

Edit: 8->9 I really like this one. Game dynamic is very interesting and offers much of choices.
2010-05-23
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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9
Feb 2010
Wow what a great game. Very nice little western theme (and I'm a sucker for western themed games) that plays fast, has a lot of choices, that cool Amun-Re/Vegas Showdown bidding mechanic and is just a fun game that plays in under an hour...at least with 3 players. it only seats 4 at most so really it's going to hold to that pretty nicely. I had fun with it...now to see if the official 2 player variant is good as well!

UPDATE: 2 Player variant works great. Bidding can still be fought over though it does seems like opening bid is always going to be the same or one more than the neutral player. Tension for buildings is still high as there are only 1 of each. Works great.

2010-02-19
Owned
Doug Adams
Australia
Oakleigh
Victoria
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NASA Dawn approaching Ceres
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9
Feb 2012
Players build up an economic infrastructure in the Old West. Lean and mean economy game, played over 10 very fast turns. Workers are assigned to building tiles, income grabbed, and workers are payed. Tiles are then auctioned Amun-Re style, allowing the winners to build a building, and perhaps trigger some bonus options. That's basically it. Buildings grant all sorts of abilities, victory points, and income bonuses. Players each have access to their own marketplace, allowing unlimited trading there (provided they have the trade tokens). Very good design, and I like the way the developers have really tightened it up to ensure it plays out fast. Reminiscent of Through The Ages, Puerto Rico, and a swag of others. Only downer is the production and components looks quite cheap, apart from the painted cattle!

Update: second edition is superb, components are wonderful. Great auction/engine game.
2012-02-05

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